Lightroom: Previews have disappeared

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  • Updated 4 years ago
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I'm on a MacBook Pro running 10.8.5 with LR 5.6. All previews have disappeared when my drives are off line, with the exception of 4 or 5 folders of recent imports. Why would this happen and how do I get the previews back? This is a recent development that has caused me great frustration as I use the off line previews no a regular basis for a variety of reasons.

Thanks,

Greg Nikas
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GREG NIKAS

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  • very frustrated.

Posted 4 years ago

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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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The previews that allow editing when the photos are offline are Smart Previews.

The 1:1 regular previews are likely purged after a month or so, depending on your preference settings.
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GREG NIKAS

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Hi Steve, I've never used Smart Previews, and have never had my regular previews disappear before while off line. I only use the previews to make decisions about how I'm going to use my images. You mentioned my preference settings. I've gone through my preferences several times and can't find where to control my previews. If you could direct me, I'd really appreciate it. I really don't know what I'm missing.

Again, this is the first time I have experienced this and I've been a LR user since the beginning.

Thanks.
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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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Edit / Preferences / General / Catalog Settings / File Handling:
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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It sounds like you have a corrupted preview cache, so it's only able to retrieve previews from the original files when they're online. Try this: http://members.lightroomqueen.com/Kno...
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GREG NIKAS

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Steve, Thanks. Of course that's where it is. When I first set up LR in the "beginning", I set Automatically Discard previews to Never, and I haven't looked at it since. It's still set to Never, so something else is wrong.

Then I went to the link that Her Majesty Victoria posted above. Thank you for that link Your Majesty, because it jogged my memory about an event that occurred about 9 days ago. I got an error message that said something got corrupted and did I want it to correct the error. I said yes, it did it's thing and said the problem was fixed. I've been so busy with shoots that I haven't worked offline since, and when I tried, noticed all my previews were gone. I haven't tried renaming or rebuilding yet, but did this - I plugged in my drive, clicked on a client folder and watched the previews turn from gray to an image. I kept scrolling through the thumbnails until all the images appeared. Then I quit LR, backed it up, unplugged the drive, opened LR, and all my previews were visible. I opened and closed several times to see if the previews were still visible and they are! Have I stumbled upon another way to recover the previews Victoria? I'm sorry, Your Majesty. I just tried it again and the previews are viable. I have also noticed that all the folders of images that I have worked on since the error message, the previews are partially visible. My plan is to take it folder by folder. When I know I'm going to be working offline, I'll plug in the drive and let the previews populate.

Thanks for the help folks, I really appreciate it.
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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Excellent. If you look in your catalog folder, you may find there's a second previews folder called something like TemporaryPreviews.lrdata. If so, you can delete it. If that's the case, it just means that Lightroom followed my instructions automatically while fixing the corruption instead of you having to do it.

If you've only scrolled through, you may not have big enough previews yet, so you may need to select the photos and go to Library menu > Previews > Render Standard Sized Previews to build them out properly. You could select the whole lot overnight and leave them all rendering to get yourself back up to date without having to manually scroll through every folder.
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GREG NIKAS

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Thanks for the suggestions Victoria. Looks like I'll have to build the previews overnight. I did find a folder with a corrupt catalog dated the 9th of Oct. which is now in the trash. I'm very glad there are people out there like you and Steve that know LR so well and can help people like me. I know enough about LR to be dangerous and get through my work, but am slowly getting better. Like this episode , I learn by crisis!
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GREG NIKAS

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I just thought of something else. When I upgraded from LR 3 to LR 4 then to LR 5, it kept these names for the catalog and previews, Lightroom 3 Catalog-3-4-2.lrcat and Lightroom 3 Catalog-3-4-2 Previews.lrdata. What is the proper method to change the names to reflect LR 5.6? Thanks.